UM assistant Lonergan named coach of Vermont

He gets his first chance to be Division I head coach

College Basketball

February 27, 2005|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Maryland first-year assistant Mike Lonergan was named new head coach at Vermont yesterday, replacing longtime Catamounts coach Tom Brennan, who is retiring at the end of his 19th season.

"I have always admired Coach [Gary] Williams as a coach but working under him this season has shown me just how great a coach he really is," said Lonergan, who will remain in College Park as an assistant until season's end. "He is one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball and I am truly blessed to have worked for him.

"Becoming a Division I head coach has been a lifelong dream of mine. ... I will forever remain a Maryland fan - the team I grew up rooting for - and a Gary Williams fan."

It is the first Division I head coaching job for Lonergan, 39, who led Catholic University to nine NCAA Division III tournament appearances and the 2001 national championship. Lonergan becomes the 12th assistant under Williams to become a college or NBA head coach.

Williams will have to hire his third assistant coach in two years in the offseason.

"I think they are getting a very good basketball coach at Vermont, and we appreciate what Mike did for the program while he was here," Williams said.

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